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H039970 WINTER CAMOUFLAGE SNOW SMOCK. (Schneetarnjacke)

BACKGROUND: The severe cold encountered on the Russian front in the winter of 1941 found the Germans completely unprepared not only in heat retaining cold weather garments but also snow camouflage garments. This resulted in numerous, hastily improvised and makeshift heat retaining and snow camouflage items being utilized including everything from civilian winter clothing to white bed sheets. After the winter of 1941 the Oberkommando des Wehrmacht, (High Command of the Armed Forces), recognized the need for heavier winter clothing and testing began in the spring of 1942 to develop suitable garments. In April 1942 Hitler approved the chosen design, and the first models were issued in the autumn of that year, in the reversible blue/grey/white colorations, which was modified to camouflage pattern/white combinations in 1943. Included with these new garments were heavy, padded, reversible winter suits which consisted of a parka, pants, hoods and mittens. Although the suits proved quite effective they were very difficult to keep clean and launder which resulted in the use of easily washable, light weight, white snow camouflage shirts and two piece uniforms that were to be worn over the heavy padded uniforms to keep them clean and still provide suitable camouflage. The two piece, snow camouflage uniforms, consisting of a smock and pants, were originally used prior to the war by mountain troops but by 1943 they were being issued in quantities to front line troops. Due to the nondescript appearance of the snow smocks the Germans generally utilized colored strips of cloth attached to the upper sleeves as a means of identification.

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Three quarter length, light weight, white cotton construction snow smock with machine stitched seams features a vertical, three button, front closure and an integral hood, large enough to accommodate a helmet. The smock has a dual-ply reinforced, diagonally angled, opened slash at each side by the forward waistline, designed to permit access to the underlying uniform pockets. The smock has straight cut, non-adjustable, sleeves which flare outwards at the cuffs with a dual-ply hem. Both of the upper sleeves have a narrow horizontal strip of blue/black cloth machine stitched in place, presumably for identification in the field. Stitching is coming loose on one, but is still mostly intact. The bottom tail skirt edge also has a dual-ply hem. Couple of period patch repairs to the reverse. Shows the expected age and use. The smocks were cut large enough to fit over the heavy padded uniforms and this example would fit a roughly size 48" chest. These donít turn up too often anymore. Untouched!

GRADE ****                             PRICE $1,250.00

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